Sunday, May 31, 2009


Bring on Orlando...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Final Days

The end of another school year has come....far too quickly as usual. We have been very blessed this year to have had such amazing teachers. I have to say that I have been so impressed with the quality of the educators at Canyon Ridge. Our children have flourished and grown by leaps and bounds and we couldn't be happier. Brooklyn had 2 final field trips to close out the school year. I was able to attend the first with her. The Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. We learned about the wonderful wildlife here in the dessert (I have already expressed my feelings at length on this matter). We also learned of how the first people to live here in the dessert survived....without a/c. Pretty interesting stuff. I think our favorite part had to be the butterfly preserve. A big net building with tons of butterflies fluttering around you. They also had huge glass sculptures on display...beautiful!

Brooklyn taking her own pictures.
A very tired, hot and unamused butterfly...
It's a good thing it was only 90 that day. (Could someone please explain why these field trips are scheduled in May as opposed to February or March? Just a thought...)

The kids last day of school was great. The boys both had "picnics" luckily Levi's started an hour before Walkers so I didn't have to miss anything. Levi's class put on a little play and sang some cute songs. I'm not sure what it was about a cute little kindergartner singing "Time to say goodbye to Kindergarten" to the tune of "Love and Marriage" that got me so emotional. But sure enough there I was, tears and all, clapping in the back. I'm a sucker for the "I'm growing up now" stuff I guess. Levi was so proud of his certificate.
Levi and his teacher Mrs. Taylor (Sorry Holli, I had to!)
I think one of Walker's favorite things about school was all the friends he made. He came home day after day talking about his new friends. I think the hardest part of summer for him will be not seeing those kids every day. He too had a fantastic teacher.

Walker with one of his favorite people Mrs. Encarnacion

Jacob Knaggs, Walker and Ty Webb

I think besides Levi Jacob was Walker's favorite little buddy.

I wish I could've gotten more pictures of the girls but at least I got these two. The girls also had wonderful teachers. Kalysta's teacher, Mrs. Downs was so good with her. Very patient and had genuine concern and love for her. Brooklyn's teacher knew just how to challenge her and spent many hours working on ways to teach a very gifted group of kids. Brooklyn finished out the year with straight A's. She reached her goal of straight A's all year. She told me she really wants to go to BYU and knows she'll have to have at least a 4.0 or better so she feels she needs to start now. We're proud of all our smart, sweet and talented kids! We want to give big Kudos to all of the teachers who have had such a wonderful influence on our children! Thanks!!

Kalysta and her 1st grade graduate certificate!!

Brooklyn and her teacher Mrs. Speight

I also have to say our kids had a really wonderful bus driver. The kids really loved her.

Look how we've grown!!
First Day of School
Last Day of School
OK, so not much difference, but if you could see their brains....

Monday, May 11, 2009


I am thoroughly convinced that I am INCAPABLE of writing a short post. So why try?

We've had a couple of great visits from some pretty great people. Living here in Arizona, we don't get many visitors. I know I have mentioned this many times but I LOVE it when my family comes to town. I miss them so much and so I treasure each and every moment.

First we had James' cousin Chip come from Tennessee. I truly believe that Larry the Cable guy should watch his back....he ain't got nothin' on Chip. (Have you ever noticed how contagious a Texas accent can be?) I laughed until I literally could not laugh anymore. We loved having Chip here. I got to hear some great childhood stories. Not to mention it seems that Chip and I seem to be equally passionate about politics and cooking. I think Chip's Italian chicken was a bigger hit with the kids than anything I've been able to make thus far. Chip you are welcome to visit and make us dinner ANYTIME. We love ya!

When Chip came to visit he didn't come empty handed. He and his sweet wife Tammy bought us all wonderful and very thoughtful gifts! They got James a nice Texas Longhorns watch, which James L-O-V-E loves! How could he not? Then the last time he was here I was telling him that I used to have this great Magic Johnson jersey but have somehow managed to misplace it. So, yep you guessed it, they got me a new one! I cannot begin to describe their thoughtfulness. And of course they didn't forget the kids...they gave them Wal-mart gift cards, which in this house is priceless! Thank you again!
Then the doc that James worked for while in his undergrad came into town and James was able to visit with him and show him the cerec machine. James is ranked as a "master" in cerec technology so it was a treat for the "paddiwon" to teach the "Jedi" as Dr. Foutz referred to it. He did say James was Anaquin and he was Obi-won. Although I think James actually makes a better "Luke" than Vader. That being said they had a great visit.
And lastly, my sister's Charity and Sallie and Sallie's hubby Jesse came to visit. They brought their kiddos along and we, as always, had a blast. It's definitely summer time here in Az. So we headed to the splash park. The kids always have so much fun.

And what would a family get together be like without a Lakers game? Not to mention we enjoyed watching them beat the Jazz. There is nothing that brings more joy than to defeat Utah. Jess did show his support for the losing team. But his faith, along with the Jazz defense, proved to be fruitless.

I can't say it enough. We love, LOVE our family. They have been so wonderful to James and I. We feel very blessed to call them family.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Snakes & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Levi and Walker have been learning about this wonderful dessert we live in (whatever). So, 2 weeks ago they were able to go on a field trip to the White Tank Mountains and I was able to chaperon. It was pretty interesting. We learned all about the super fun creatures that crawl around outside (and sometimes in...but I'm trying not to think about it). We got to see the 3 different types of scorpions that live in the Arizona dessert. One of which James killed just a couple weeks ago outside. The Arizona Bark scorpion is the most poisonous of the three....and one of the smallest. Joy. We also got to see a Gila Monster. That was pretty cool, although they are extremely poisonous. The only part I was not too thrilled about was the park ranger who did the reptile display. He was horrible to the kids. I mean come on these kids are 5 and 6 years of age and you get upset because they want to ask a question? It was tempting to push the rattlesnake cage over on top of him.

It was actually a pretty nice day, but still hot. We had to keep spraying the kids down to keep them cool.

The boys were obviously very in to the reptile display.
Walker with his "buddy" Marquis

Levi with his "buddy" Bryce

And of course who doesn't LOVE touching snakes?

We had a lot of fun. I feel very blessed to have these opportunities to spend with my children. I enjoy seeing them with their friends and classmates. To see their genuine interest in the simplest things. Things I take for granted every day. I know I complain about living in the dessert but there is true beauty here. My children helped me see that.

We also had the Mother/Son Spring Fling the week before the field trip. I simply have the best looking boys, hands down. Not to mention the sweetest. They were so excited for our little "date". I loved spending time with my 2 little men. We had some bar-b-que chicken and then went to the gym where we danced and played basketball, hoola hoop and hockey. It was one of the best date nights yet!

Who could resist a kiss from two extremely handsome men?
This is the photo they took at the school. The boys look so cute!!

I love these two little boys. They are wonderful! I have enjoyed watching them grow so much this year. I can't believe how grown up they both are!! I love my little boys and have to agree with Walker when he says he wishes he could just stay 6 years old forever.